Road-Hymn for the Start

LEAVE the early bells at chime,
Leave the kindled hearth to blaze,
Leave the trellised panes where children linger out the waking-time,
Leave the forms of sons and fathers trudging through the misty ways,
Leave the sounds of mothers taking up their sweet laborious days.
Pass them by ! even while our soul
Yearns to them with keen distress.
Unto them a part is given ; we will strive to see the whole;
Dear shall be the banquet table where their singing spirits press,
Dearer be our sacred hunger and our pilgrim loneliness.
We have felt the ancient swaying
Of the earth before the sun,
On the darkened marge of midnight heard sidereal rivers playing;
Rash it was to bathe our souls there, but we plunged and all was done :
That is lives and lives behind us, and our journey is begun!
Careless where our face is set
Let us take the open way :
What we are no tongue hath told us. Errand-goers who forget ?
Soldiers heedless of their harry ? Pilgrim people gone astray ?
We have heard a voice cry, “Wander!” That was all we heard it say.
Ask no more : ’t is much ! ’t is much !
Down the road the day-star calls;
Touched with change in the wide heavens, like a leaf the frost doth touch,
Flames the failing moon a moment ere it shrivels white and falls ;
Hid aloft a shy throat holdeth sweet and sweeter intervals.
Leave him still to ease in song
Half his little heart’s unrest;
Speech is his, but we may journey toward the life for which we long.
God who gives the bird its anguish maketh nothing manifest,
But upon our lifted foreheads pours the boon of endless quest.
William Vaughn Moody.